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Nothing easy about splitting Pine

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by johnsopi, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    May 20, 2008
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    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    LOL- not much splits too hard with a hydraulic splitter.

    where does one even buy a 20" round of butter?

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Anderson, Indiana
    lol, lot of dairy farms around here!
  3. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    COSTCO!!!
  4. GunSeth

    GunSeth Member

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    Charlestown, RI
    I have a bunch of pine rounds that a neighbor gave me a few months ago from a tree that fell down last fall. I plan on splittin' 'em soon with my Fiskars axe. Do I need to worry about my new axe getting all sticky? Should I use my ugly stepchild axe instead?
  5. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Nov 26, 2008
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    Eastern MA
    I had my first pine splitting experience a couple weeks ago. Using my nice Fiskars...

    The wood was fairly green - but the sap is mostly in the bark so although my gloves got messy and some landed on the handle it wasn't really such a big deal.

    Straight pieces without knots were easy to split for the most part - even the larger (21+" long by 16+ round) rounds I could take apart. I rather enjoyed making these into boards by squaring them up first then splitting the rectangle down to size - that straight grain was great for this and boy does this stack pretty!. Now for the knots... There is one piece that I have set aside and don't know what I'm going to do with it. I was hitting it over and over again - basically making pine mulch chips out of it. The top of it is all eaten away now and you can see where the knots flow inside but it doesn't want to split! I think I'll end up taking a wedge to it (I just started playing with the wedge/sledge approach) and see what happens.

    Overall - straight pieces are a lot of fun. Knotty ones get to be real work, but are still fun too - I think it is because the pine (at least the variety that I was working) grows with four branches all at the same point in the trunk (sort of N/S/E/W) and thus the knots are all together.

    This was free - only cost me the time and bother to haul, split, and stack so I'm happy enough. I look forward to burning it when the time comes - will have to shorten some of these pieces but will deal with it then, after the sap is dry.
  6. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    Southern Calif.
    I've had some pine that just didn't want to split. Well, most of it will split with the rented 20 ton h/v splitter in vert. mode ... but sometimes its more like tearing the wood apart than splitting it. Seems to me that the grain on some pine is all twisted and knarly, and other pine has fairly straight grain. If there are no knots, the straightness (or lack of same) of the grain seems to make the the difference.

    With the ax, maul, or other manual implements, sometimes I can pound at the pine all I want and the implement will either bounce off or get stuck, but now split the wood. But other times (or rather, other batches of wood or when I've let the same batch season for six months or so), all it takes is one or two good wacks. And some "soft" straight grained white pine will practically split if it sees the ax anywhere in the nieghborhood.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  7. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
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    Loc:
    Next to a lake in NH
    have split pine with maul and splittah, nothing tough about it.
    Branches and all.

    I have a bunch of hemlock, when very wet it expands and the juices squirt out like crazy, but still pretty easy.
  8. WidowMaker

    WidowMaker Member

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    Central Washington
    The Chimney fires will generally keep ya warm for a couple days.... :>)
  9. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Mid Atlantic
    I've cut and split various Pine, Spruce, and Hemlock around here which were deadwood or nearly dead- various trees mostly from our yard which were not up to the climate and gave up. They all split very easily, in warm weather. So I've decided I will collect the occasional small amounts of 'Pine'. I'm sticking mainly with Oak, Cherry, Locust, Maple, etc. that I've been very successful with. The Pine does indeed burn very hot. I like it mainly for small kindling and smaller 3-5in starter splits.
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